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Presidential Palace, place of art and history

Ljubljana, 3 October - The Presidential Palace, where the president performs his duties, is a Neo-Renaissance mansion from the late 19th century, boasting works of art by some of the most acclaimed Slovenian artists. The palace was declared a cultural monument in 1993.

Ljubljana, predsedniška palača.
Častna straža SV pred predsedniško palačo.
Foto: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
Government headquarters.
Photo: Domen Grögl/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

Ljubljana
An honour guard in front of the Presidential Palace.
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

The construction works for the palace started in the spring of 1897, two years after Ljubljana was hit by a devastating earthquake, to unite all provincial government offices in one place.

Designed by Rudolf Bauer and constructed by Kranjska stavbna družba, the palace was open in March 1899.

Until 1918, it was the seat of the Austro-Hungarian government of Carniola, while under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia it housed the national government and Ljubljana mayors.

After the Second World War, when Slovenia was one of the six republics within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the building was home to the executive council, which is how the Slovenian government was called, the Constitutional Court, and after 1975 to the Slovenian presidency.

Two years after Slovenia gained independence, the palace became the Presidential Palace it is today, where the president performs his duties. It is also the seat of his office and the secretariat general of the government.

The three-storey building was built in the Neo-Renaissance style and has an atrial ground plan. The palace's exterior and interior have not changed much since the 19th century.

The complex features two courtyards, while the biggest hall, the Crystal Hall, which was originally a chapel and was used for government sessions during the Second World War, is now used for receptions.

The main entrance is framed by two sitting statues by sculptor Josef Beyer from Vienna, symbolising power and law. The corners of the palace are emphasised, taking the shape of towers.

Inside, the palace is decorated with monumental paintings by contemporary painter Gojmir Anton Kos depicting moments from Slovenia's history.

The rooms of the Office of the President feature several art works from the government-owned collection, which is managed by the National Gallery, including works by realist Ivana Kobilca, impressionists Ivan Grohar and Rihard Jakopič, modernists France Mihelič and Zoran Mušič, and sculptor Stojan Batič.

Incumbent President Borut Pahor hosts open house at the Presidential Palace on every national holiday, with honorary guard lined up in front of the palace.

He has decided to introduce this custom to show respect for the state on national holidays.

mab/mo/ep
© STA, 2017